Anyone that assumed the Big Ten would someday split into pods and expand to 20 schools better hope Delany is not around. Apparently the commissioner of the Big Ten does not see super conferences becoming a reality any time soon.
The B1G is already a super-conference unless that is to be defined as part of a P4 body instead of the P5. And that could suit Delany just dandy. He's not going to want a Louisville, but if UVA and UNC, and maybe a couple of select others, told Delany they want to join the B1G and there was a clear path to do so, he would absorb them ASAP. Delany took Rutgers and went to a lot of effort to financially lure Maryland from the ACC. There's no evidence he would not go further for the preferred/available situations, and to state otherwise would be a contradiction of prior intent. 16 is not unreasonable to think he would go there; 20 and pods, agree, the B1G is not going for that.
It sounds like Strickland, the AD of Mississippi State , is the one concerned about the large number of 14
louisvillecard01, I respectfully have to disagree with your comments. The Big Ten could have been at 16, 18 or 20 with the list of candidates when the league stopped at 12 with Nebraska. At that time any school outside of the SEC would have jumped on the Big Ten expansion wagon. Granted the league latter came back for Maryland and Rutgers, however, to me this was reaction to the ACC giving special status to Notre Dame which has a campus in pitching distance of the Big Ten headquarters.
I could see the Big Ten maybe going to 16 someday if the right two schools wanted to join such as Virginia or North Carolina, I believe that most guys including Delany understand when you get past 14 schools you are essentially two leagues in one.
The Big Ten would be the last power league to take the route of having four pods playing a semi final and final championship game. It is too much like a full blown playoff which the Big Ten and Pac 12 have resisted for years.
You would have to convince the western schools to improve expansion because an 8, 9, 10 east division would have Wisconsin never facing the Ohio State and Michigan's of the world again. You have basketball schools such as Indiana that is already filling the lower end of the bloated 14 league being pushed further to the bottom.
With all the concern of the Cable networks waiting on the latest ESPN/Verizon law suite, the fees being charged just to bundle a product such as the Big Ten Network could be on the bubble that burst in the not too distance future.
The Big Ten is smart enough to hold up on taking any more schools with all the uncertainties facing future cable fee charges with on line streaming of products and then having more mouths to feed.
I see the Big Ten holding up with 14 for the long term future.
This is not taking into account all the issues facing major leagues with autonomy and pay for play for players.
Everyone on this board wants more realignment with the five power leagues. Sorry just do not see this happening in the near to long term future of the next 20 years.
There are far too may variable for any league including the Big Ten to take financial risks they simple may not be able to recover from.
This is the reason the Big 12 will do anything to avoid taking on any more mouths to feed and it has nothing to do with lack of a conference network. Ditto ACC.